In the past three killings in Ottawa, the death instruments were a knife, a pistol and a car. The common factor was not the weapon. The common factor was alcohol. Each of the three people charged had been drinking. Had they been sober, the deaths would not have occurred.

The reaction of our elected officials to this fact was re-zone: a residential area to permit a church to be replaced by a liquor store; an area to permit a beer-tasting event; and the area along the railroad track from Baldwin City to Ottawa, to allow booze to be served on an excursion train.

If a drunken driver had crossed the center line, struck a school bus and killed 27 people, including 20 small children, the president would not have made a tearful appearance at a news conference and called for stronger controls on alcohol. Nor would the press have kept up a steady drum beat, week after week, against alcohol even though alcohol kills more people and produces far more social problems than guns.

The sad truth is that neither the bulk of our government officials nor the majority of the press are people who are guided by principle. From their perspectives, it’s all just a matter of whose ox is being gored.

— Elbert Swank, Williamsburg